Spice up your spices and take full advantage of their flavor by grinding, crushing or heating them.
Spices — the bark, roots, seeds or berries of certain plants — pack the biggest flavor punch when they’re whole, but biting into a whole clove, coriander seed or cinnamon stick is not a pleasant experience. Breaking their outer surface – in a food processor, coffee grinder or crushing them with the side of your knife – helps release the flavor without the added texture or overpowering bite.
Our friends at McCormick Spices suggest ground spices should be replaced after 3 to 4 years, whole spices after 4 years and dried, leafy herbs after 1 to 3 years. Despite the fact that dried herbs and spices have these extremely long shelf lives, their flavor can fade long before. Here’s a quick way to bring them back to life.
Once they’re ground or crushed, heating your spices in a dry (no water or oil) sauté pan over medium heat will deepen their flavor. It’s also a great way to refresh spices that have been sitting in your pantry for a while. Be careful to heat them only until they’re aromatic – when you can smell them, they’re done. Get them out of the hot pan before they burn.
Spice up your spices then put them to use in these delicious recipes.
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